This is the perfect recipe for quince tart with meringue! Juicy poached quince, baked in a buttery dough (no rolling required) and crowned with a fluffy, light and airy meringue! Just the right way to celebrate this quince season!
Since Quince is back in season only for a short while, Shilpi wanted me to make my mother's recipe for Quince Meringue Tart. I have eaten many slices of this tart growing up so I know it is irresistibly delicious but also looking at it, one can't help but wonder if you need some serious baking skills!
Nah, turns out the tart is simple and fun to make. Nothing better than the joy one gets, peeping through the oven door, patiently watching the meringue toast! Needless to say, I was pretty pleased with the results!
Now let's show you how to make this delicious tart step by step so that it's a breeze for you to make!
HOW TO MAKE QUINCE TART WITH MERINGUE
Recipes involving tarts topped with meringues can be intimidating to look at. Many mistakes can happen and that's why I recommend to read the recipe a few times, before giving it a go. If you break it down into steps, you will have a clear mind.
Overview of steps involved
- Peel and cook the Quince
- Prepare the tart base
- Assemble the base and bake
- Whip the meringue topping
- Spread the meringue on the tart
- Bake again in the oven and it's done
I have explained these steps in detail below so let's begin!
PEEL AND COOK THE QUINCE
Quince is hard to find but luckily I have a small fruit and vegetable store nearby. The owner is always excited when a new seasonal ingredient has arrived and so am I.
Quince is not that inviting to look at because of all the bruises and deformations and it is definitely not a fruit that you can straight bite into (please don't even try!)
But once cooked, these quince turn into something beautiful! Bright yellow in colour with a floral, sweet smell, this fruit is such a delicacy.
Ingredients for poaching liquid
Poaching them with spices, honey and white wine is the way I have learnt to work with Quince. This style of gently poaching brings out the best in them and it also has one more benefit - the cooking liquid! Reduce to a third on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes and strain this aromatic syrup! It not only looks great but it tastes just like concentrated Quince.
We used water, sugar, honey, white wine, cinnamon, star anis and clove to make our poaching liquid. You can change the flavour as per your preference. Some other ideas are: thyme, ginger, orange peel, elderflower, vanilla, cardamom.
A trick I have adapted from David Lebovitz poached quince recipe is to prepare the poaching stock before peeling the Quince. Previously, I used to peel the Quince and keep them in lemon water until it was time to cook them but now I just skip this step😉
POACHING QUINCE FOR THE QUINCE TART
Once you have peeled the quince, cut them in wedges. The core needs to be completely removed (refer to image above) otherwise the quince will stay tough and stringy even after cooking.
For this tart, we poached the quince on medium heat for only 8-10 minutes. Have enough poaching liquid to cover the quince completely. Now, cover with a cartouche made from baking paper. If you do not know what a cartouche is, you can refer to our Spice Poached Pears with Mascarpone recipe where I have shown how to make and use a cartouche when poaching.
With a knife check the doneness of the quince. They should be soft but not falling apart! Let the poached quince cool at room temperature (in the cooking liquid itself) while you prepare the batter.
AS A NOTE: I used 3 whole quince for the tart but had enough cooked quince left to also garnish the plate with. Alternatively, you can also use the leftover poached quince on porridge, rice pudding or yoghurt for example.
PREPARE THE TART BASE
The dough makes for an unusual one. Texture and recipe are similar to a frangipane but this recipe has cream in it which makes the base soft and spongy on the inside but nice and crusty on the outside.
Here is the list of ingredients you will need:
Butter, icing sugar, egg yolks (keep egg whites for the meringue), vanilla essence, cream,flour, baking powder and salt.
Steps to make the batter:
- Whisk the soft butter with the icing sugar using a hand or stand mixer
- Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture
- Add cream, vanilla essence and a pinch of salt, mix well
- Mix flour with baking powder and add to the wet mixture
To bake the tart base, we used a 24cm (9 ½ inch) diameter tart form.
ASSEMBLE THE BASE TO BAKE
To prepare the base, transfer the dough into a tart form lined with baking paper. Place the poached quince in a circle on the surface of the dough and gently press down into the batter.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 25-30 minutes. The tart base should be golden brown.
Let it cool at room temperature while you prepare the meringue next.
WHIP UP THE BEST MERINGUE TOPPING
Whipping meringues can be daunting but if you read our tips and put them into practise, you will succeed! Whisking the egg whites correctly, will make them stay white, shiny and smooth.
Tips to consider when making meringues:
- use fresh eggs only, check the expiry date when you shop for eggs
- separate the eggs when they are cold, it's much easier and ensure the egg yolk doesn't makes it's way to the egg whites
- the egg whites should be at at room temperature, they whip up better and will be at their highest volume (leave egg whites out for at least 30 minutes)
- wipe your mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly, it needs to be free from grease
- add the sugar directly to the egg whites and start whipping them. It always works!
The ratio we use is 30g of sugar for every medium sized egg unlike recipes which suggest adding sugar directly to the egg whites. I prefer starting a bit slow and then gradually increasing the speed of the hand mixer. Long story short, if you follow all the tips above, you don't have to worry about my math behind it😁
Once glossy stiff peaks form, the meringue is ready!
SPREAD THE MERINGUE ON THE TART
Spread the meringue while the tart is still warm as this will avoid the meringue separating from the tart when baked. Use the back of a spoon to make decorative meringue spikes.
BAKE AGAIN AND IT'S DONE
The tart goes back in the oven again for 15 minutes at 150°C (300°F). My oven has the option to grill from the top so I used this setting for a few minutes to give the meringue more colour. Alternatively you could use a blow torch (I sadly didn't have one the day I baked the tart but I did buy one the next day!)
Now switch off the oven and leave the tart for a further 15 minutes with the door shut and then for another 15 minutes with the door open!
You will be tempted to slice the tart straightaway but don't give into your temptation!! Let the tart rest for an hour atleast at room temperature before slicing into it.
AS A NOTE: Leftovers can be kept covered in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days. However we highly recommend eating the tart the day it's made as the meringue will begin to separate and fall apart after a while.
HOW TO SERVE THE QUINCE TART WITH MERINGUE
Served with a spoon of the quince syrup and a few extra slices of the poached quince on the side, this tart is mouth watering good and is best shared with family and friends for an afternoon tea/coffee.
Did you make this recipe? Leave us a comment telling us about your experience baking this tart! In case you have any quince left over then I highly recommend making our recipe for quince paste next - Perfect for your cheese platter.
If you enjoy baking then you also must try our French apple tart or baked ricotta cheese cake! If you just love sweet, this rhubarb with strawberries and coconut chantilly dessert is for you. Let us know how you go😋
Quince Tart with Meringue
for the quince
- 3 whole quince
- 500 ml water
- 100 ml white wine
- 100 g sugar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 2 star anis
- 3 cloves
for the tart base
- 85 g butter cut into cubes and left out to soften
- 90 g icing sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 130 gram all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 200 ml full fat cream
- 1 pinch salt
for the meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 120 g sugar
for the quince
- In a medium sized pot, combine water, white wine, sugar, honey, cinnamon, star anis and cloves to bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile peel the quince and cut each quince into 8 wedges, lengthwise. Remove the core with a sharp knife. Place the quince in the poaching liquid making sure they are completely submerged. Cover with a cartouche made from baking paper.
- Cook the quince for just 8-10 minutes and leave in the poaching liquid to cool.
- Remove the quince and reduce the poaching liquid to a syrup. Simmer on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes and then strain.
for the tart base
- In a bowl combine the soft butter and icing sugar. Use a hand or stand mixer to whisk for a few minutes until smooth.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk again. Add the vanilla essence and cream to combine well.
- Combine the baking powder with the flour and add to the wet mixture through a sieve. Using the hand mixer, mix well. Transfer the dough into the prepared baking form (24cm/9½ inch in diameter) lined with baking paper.
- Cover the surface of the dough with poached quince wedges, arranging them in a circle. Press the quince gently down into the dough with your hands.
- Bake the tart at 175°C (350°F) for 25-30 minutes. The tart should be golden brown. Leave at room temperature to cool while you prepare the meringue.
for the meringue
- in a clean bowl combine the egg whites and sugar. Whisk at medium speed with a hand or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Increase the speed until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be smooth, sticky and glossy.
- Spread the meringue over the still warm tart covering the entire tart. Use the back of a spoon to create decorative spikes.
to finish baking the tart
- Bake the tart again for 15 minutes at 150°C (300°F). Change the settings of your oven to top heat or the grill function for a few minutes to give the meringue some colour (keep an eye on it)
- Switch off the oven and leave the tart for further 15 minutes to give the meringue a crust on the top. Finally leave the tart for another 15 minutes with the oven door open.
- Now, remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature for at least an hour before slicing it.
- Serve the tart with the quince syrup and a few of the leftover poached quince wedges.